“Don’t judge yourself against others. Judge yourself against prior versions of yourself and the effort you are exerting in the present moment.” Brad Stulberg

Social media has allowed millions of people around the world to have instant access to a myriad of stories. Sometimes these stories are positive, sometimes they are accurate, sometimes they are inspiring. However, for all of us, being part of a constantly connected, communication-rich i-Generation, means our minds can quickly turn to focus on ourselves – and not always in a productive way! One can quickly find themselves disconnected from reality, self-absorbed and comparing our lives, our achievements or "likes" with others.

These Hampshire Downs and Corriedale lambs are the newest additions up at the Woodleigh Farm. We may be in lockdown, but life continues unabated at the farm!

The importance of reflection and a personal “noise filter” are therefore more important than ever. Stage 4 lockdown has been confronting for us all. It is easy to think we are “stuck” at home. It is easy to think of the challenges of keeping our young people “busy”. But it is also a chance to remember we are “safe” at home. Perhaps an opportunity for a renewal of family discussions and relationships. An opportunity for our young people to learn a new skill or find the time for a “mindfulness” or “stillness” session to take time for reflection away from social media and school work. Whatever it may be, a chance to manage other parts of their lives; perhaps other responsibilities at home that over time build their capacity to cope on their own.

The past week has seen us again have the chance to reflect on students treading their own path and showing great initiative. On Wednesday evening we celebrated the world of Maths with our Year 7 evening. Whilst the format of the evening was new, our students continued to strive for excellence.  Anyone in doubt about the role of Maths in our everyday lives only had to hear from Jemima about building a skateboard ramp, Aurelia discuss Fractals, Lily presenting on Biomimicry or Rani highlighting Maths in Music and the Fibonacci sequence to know the relevance! All Year 7 students are to be congratulated on their efforts in learning new aspects around Maths. Of course this is only possible with the strong leadership and dedication of our Maths Faculty who have been instrumental in generating enthusiasm amongst our aspiring Mathematicians.

At the other end of our Campus, we have eight Year 12 students who have already received early offers for 2021. The diversity of these offers typify the breadth of interests within our students. They include Bryce who will pursue his interest in Music performance at JMC, Kyle who will follow his passion for Marine Science to JCU, and Sarah who has received an offer to ANU in Canberra (a popular choice with two other students heading that way, too!). Sport Development and Leadership offers, as well as Science, Law and Politics are other areas students have already been offered. At the time of writing we are also eagerly awaiting the performance of The Crucible and will celebrate and reflect on this next time!

These students have taken the initiative and pursued their passions. Others continue helping out in their community, be it making masks, checking in on friends or elderly relatives. One thing has been clear during the last few weeks; when we focus solely on ourselves, it is easy to become more anxious over what others may think of us. But when we shift the focus to being the best version of ourselves it leads to one of life’s true lessons: Life is about the impact we can have on others.

Deputy Principal – Acting Head of Senior Campus